Family of fallen soldier speak about Iraq conflict

WICHITA, Kansas – While the chaos is unfolding in Iraq, many here in Wichita are keeping a close eye on the situation.

Karen Funcheon’s son, Alex, was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After enlisting in 2004, Alex would spend the next three years fighting in the war.

Tragically, on April 29th, 2007, Alex died in Baghdad from wounds he sustained when a roadside bomb detonated near his unit.

Now, Karen is a member of the Wichita Chapter of the American Gold Star Mothers.

The organization is comprised of a group of women who’ve lost their sons and daughters in battle.

Karen recollects how she felt when she heard the news of her sons death.

“My first thought was I won’t get to see him again for the rest of my life on earth.” said Karen Funcheon.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS, have continued their onslaught in cities across the battered country.

Alex’s dad, Bob, says after seeing the situation get worse, he questions whether all the troops work in the last war will be nullified.

“Now with the country going back to the way it was before and more than likely going to disintegrate worse that it was before, under Hussein, it’s apparent his death wasn’t worth it,” said Bob Funcheon.

The Funcheon’s say they’ve been keeping up with the current happenings in Iraq.

Both offered different opinions on what they believe should be the United States next course of action.

“The key word is complete, whatever that may be, it just needs to be complete and final,” said Bob Funcheon.

“They’re never going to solve it over there, they’ve been waring for centuries and I just think we need to stay out of it,” added Karen Funcheon.

Their son, Alex, was one of nearly 4,500 troops who were killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.


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